VACAVILLE — This is the year that Vacaville school leader John Niederkorn will close the door on his 39-year education career.
The district is in full-search mode for a new superintendent and the Vacaville School District board will meet in special closed session meetings Friday and Saturday to conduct candidate interviews. Niederkorn’s contract is up June 30.
The district hired an outside search firm, Leadership Associates, and pulled in more than three dozen applicants from all over the country, said David McCallum, president of the governing board. Most of the applicants were from California, he said.
“We got a very good cross-section of experienced educators . . . ,” McCallum said. “We were very pleased with the pool from which we are choosing.”
He declined to say how many candidates were involved in the interview process, citing the need to be discreet in the selection process.
Niederkorn opened the retirement door when he handed in his resignation toward the end of last fiscal year. After he penciled some numbers, he realized he could retire, yet remain as the superintendent – taking substantially less pay and saving the district some money. As a retiree, Niederkorn turned in his six-figure salary and received pay that’s just a little larger than one-fifth the size – plus his pension.
A year later, he’s still pleased he made that decision. Citing the number of decades he worked in California public education, he said it got to the point where it had “minimal difference” in his pension benefits.
“I’m fortunate,” he said. “I recognized I could go ahead and provide a service to the district and receive income through the pension. It would provide a great deal of fiscal relief to the district.”
His efforts didn’t go unnoticed by McCallum, who said that it “really shows his selflessness to the district.”
“We’re so happy that’s what he chose to do,” he said.
There is no timeline for having the new superintendent in place. Niederkorn said a decision could come anywhere from a week, a month “or after that.” But he said he fully expects someone to be “contracted and ready to go” as of July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.
“Ideally it would be great if we could make an appropriate selection as early as possible,” McCallum said, so the new superintendent could get to know the staff and stakeholders “before actually beginning the job.”
“But that’s not required or necessary,” he said. “If it happens, that will be a very nice surprise but if it doesn’t, we’re not too worried about it.”
The meetings are closed to the public but any available reports on closed session activity will be given after each meeting’s conclusion.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.